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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 22, 2013 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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standards, development and imagined. is it accurate they were forced to play a more reactive raw and be proactive? >> absolutely. this convention i think it's the 21st century human rights convention. the adoption has been very, very fast. we've seen firsthand the country that has adopted crp that has come together in many cases, forming committees, stating standards through various areas.
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in the technology area, we already witnessed a different kind of thinking. right now we still enjoy leadership and we still enjoy standard leadership. so were able to apply some of our influence. over time come as you know, especially in the area of technology evolves very quickly. by not being there, we will very quickly lose our ability to impact. once it is harmonized based on the united states standards, for example, all the businesses will suffer because that means we potentially have to create different that the products, different sets of services. that will ever stamp act our ability to expand commerce. >> thank you are a match. too many of the other panelists want to comment on that? >> yes. i know john lancaster, we are colleagues together on the
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united states institute of peace. i don't mean to put words into his mouth, but it is their laments to it the united states can expect to do in terms of influence in other countries. you don't have to be exactly what we would like you to be. i am a little bit uneasy about having this openly sad. we need to have international standards, which will force other countries to buy american products. first of all, i'm skeptical if that's going to work. the second of all, if the works i don't think it will make us more popular. it is going to be a lot of resentment about that. we are seen to poor countries, don't spend your money on things you think are important. spend your money on american exports because it doesn't
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require us to do anything. it requires you to do our staff. >> i was not my interpretation. would you like to respond to that? >> yes. standards come about from us prock says. so in many cases, especially american standards, because we are a free society and people come together share their best practices then that becomes a de facto standard and international standards. other countries actually look at these standards because they know it's a culmination of best practices. so it's not a forced issue. it's not an action you impose on people, especially in the technology area. it is a welcome standard because that means they don't have to spend time to go through the trial and error that other
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companies around the world for their industry has gone through. so i would say this is not an adversary kind of situation. it is usually welcomed very much by the global community. >> thank you. mr. bradley, did you want to comment? >> thank you beard might be probably in between these additions. my guess is the united states will continue to be a leader in the future and even if it does not join the convention, why would that be the case? as some of the best laws on a match in congress looking to need to make sure that the case cannot be united states, regardless of whether it happens to the treaty. having said that, i do agree with secretary kerry united states is likely to gain some additional leverage both on the committee and just more generally if it's a party to the convention.
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that's an image joining the convention. the emphasis of my testimony is simply we should only do that if are satisfied we are doing it in a way consistent with u.s. law and particularly constitutional standards. thank you. >> one of the issues that was raised before or at the previous hearing on this treaty had to do with concerns that have been raised by some groups about homeschooling their children. last year the justice department testified before this committee at the convention, including the phrase best interest of the child could be applied consistent with u.s. law and would not require a change to existing law. i wonder if -- as i have looked at the treaty, i don't see that
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there is a trickier to parents who would like to homeschool their children. just wondered if that was the concern, mr. bradley, that you have heard about the treaty and what you're thinking that's about whether that's an issue with the current wording. >> yes, thank you. i believe i do understand that concern. one of the issues that arises any of the treaty the this is negotiated among a large group of countries. by definition, therefore the language can be vague and broad. its implications can be unclear. communities in the united states at the homeschooling community quite understandably want some assurance about what the implications of the treaty will be. you're absolutely right the main assurance they've gotten is an assurance the convention will not require to existing product within law.
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what emerging as the committee and senate can give more assurance and make clear that it will not allow a change from what our constitutional permits in terms of the regulation and homeschooling. if the community had the greater reassurance, that should be sufficient to address the concerns as i understand it. >> so are you suggesting express language that would address that? is that we are suggesting? >> in my view, it would be enough of the committee were endorsed at the federal reservations i suggested, which made clear the convention cannot be used by the government of the state domain would include the homeschooling issue, but would not be limited to it. that should cover in my opinion that should address concerns by taken off the table the possibility they're worried about, which is next year after
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the convention would have some intrusion that would not normally have been allowed, but would not be allowed under the convention, even though not required. i think the general reservations i am suggesting should address the concern is they understand it and you would need an additional for homeschooling, although some understanding authority been proposed that says this does not effect homeschooling would certainly be also quite welcome. >> thank you. >> ms. weiss, you talked somewhat about about how foreign countries perceive the fact that we've not ratified the convention. i wonder if what you've heard from business leaders around the world is further concerned about
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u.s. leadership on the issue of disability and the extent to which he think that might continue to be eroded if we are not able to pass the treaty in this session of congress or of the senate. >> well, we see the convention as the means for us to really have a very efficient way of understanding market requirements where there is developing country or developing countries have not write not finding the crp, we will be in cases excluded from some of these discussions, which could lead to solution. for business communities, it's all about being able to understand the customer's requirement whether it's by country or industry. so we think it is very important
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that we be at the table and be able to glean from the discussions about different industry, whether its transportation or banking or retail industry specifics. and that will allow the united states companies, especially a company that has global interest, to be able to continue that leadership in the world market. and also, we think that currently, at least in the technology area, we endured tremendous leadership harmonizing to national standards. the standards are very, very important because it really allows the continued leadership of the u.s. company and the global setting. thank you. >> i just got notice that they've called another vote in the senate. and so, i think we should take a short recess.
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hopefully senator menendez and senator corker will be back because they'll be able to vote now because i'm going to have to vote, let's recess for 15 minute and hopefully by then they will return. thank you. [inaudible] [laughter] >> very fast. thank you. >> thank you, senator shaheen. i think you've got more time than you normally can get. [laughter] i'm sure you make good use of it, too. our thanks for you chairing the interim. thank you to the panel, but the testimony was all interesting. let me explore a couple of things. dr. rabkin, i listen to your testimony. i understand your position, which i respect. but i think you to minimize, in your testimony, the notion of
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what the treaty can do. you know, in your testimony, you seem to disparage the idea of asking other countries to make facilities accessible to disabled people in order to make life more comfortable for american tourists who will probably be few in number and brief and their benefits is the exact quote from the testimony. don't you think as america, for a moment, that it is important for our country and for our government to try to create the opportunity for americans to be able to visit a dying relative abroad, to be able to do a sales pitch in another country or have a member of our armed forces abroad who has a family member with disability be able to have these americans fulfill their god-given potential without the
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challenges of the impediments to individuals with disabilities find globally and increasingly less in the united states, but occasionally still in the united states, even with the ada law. >> i am very sympathetic to people who -- i'm not asking for your sympathy. i'm asking whether or not you believe -- should it not be the power and the advocacy of the united states on behalf of its citizens to be able to enjoy what they enjoy and access to opportunity here to become a more global norm. >> i think we cannot make everything that we would like into a global norm and i am skeptical that this is the right priority for us. if i could come as a minor, i'll another example. a lot of americans have difficulties with foreign
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languages. and so, i include myself there. we find it a lot easier if everyone spoke english or if they didn't speak english -- >> that's not a disability, though. >> at the limitation. i'm not saying it's a severe limitation. the point is we cannot get every country to do exactly what we would like them to do. we cannot get every country to be a democracy. >> we do not ultimately wish that certain countries would move in a way that creates the security challenge to the united states. but we sent our sons and daughters abroad one would think that national security of the united states is at stake. if i were to take your arguments are logical conclusion, i would in essence advocate the u.s. role in so many different dimensions in a way in which we would not pursue our national
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interest. that's her point of view. i respect it. let me turn to mr. bradley. i read your testimony as a whole in addition to listening to your synthesized version and i think it's considered testimony. i look forward to hopefully engaging you, as i'm sure senator corker mike on the reds package. in your testimony, you raised concerns about the reach of future implements the even if there's broader agreement and you raised concerns the advisory committee that treaty creates could somehow invalidates u.s. threats, even though they don't grant them the power to do that. now, in the last congress, we adapt to a set of ruds to address power concerns and i think last year my description of it is to be used to suspend
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her purse to address these concerns. an hour in the territory of three g-golf and three pairs of suspenders and a team of engineers to supervise the whole operation. i think that's what's necessary, i certainly want to entertain it. my point here is i get the x russian nuttier can learn. and i want to ask you this, though. assuming we could adopt a set of ruds that would satisfy your concern come which may be concerned about others as well. i'm optimistic we can. do you think that we need to wait until the bond cases decided to consider this treaty as some have suggested we do? >> thank you, senator. in terms of what has been proposed before, my view is that not belts and suspenders. i've already indicated the once proposed simply say congress is not required to invade. doesn't taken off the table.
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it's not fanciful to think they would want to validate the reservations. they are to have that authority. that's not a proposition and i was not addressed in the proposed ruds last year. so those two examples -- >> you validate the ruds to infer something domestically. >> internationally these. and the question and be with the united states would do if it had found to be not to have those ruds internationally. the general question is if we could fashion a set of ruds. and by the way, i'm optimistic we can. i thought he sounded optimistic that we could and seemed quite willing to add additional buttons ascenders along the lines of what you're just asking about. if that were done, my view is that it be sufficient as long as the language are really tight in the way i talk in my written
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testimony. >> limited to the core of my question, which is icier your concern. my question is, is the main that we even worked reviewing guide to language that threw you would satisfy some of our colleagues, do you think we need to wait for a decision in order to accomplish the goal? >> i do not. it is possible to bond case would cut back on some of the treaty power concerns raised. they are not going to add additional concerns. so as long as the ruds we are talking about address those concerns fully, i don't think whatever happens would not change the picture. >> that's very hopeful. let me just make one comment on one of your observations with reference the human rights committee, which attempted to expand the scope of his authority. the united states successfully push back we made it clear before the committee, does not have the authority to invalidate
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and neither does the disabilities committee. any entity, including the united states congress. now i know there is even now they have never been invalidated in the history of the congress, a future congress can go ahead and amend the american disabilities that. it has ones. we constantly see a great desire to change that presidents health care law. that issue is one of 100 examples i could give. now there's a lot of things that congress could do to a number of hypothetically bizarre things. you know, they could seek to ultimately sell the capital for scraps that they could disband the expressions of approval or disapproval are not in order of the committee. i'm trying to get to the point
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here, which is i have great faith, despite her challenges sometimes in the institutions and the american people, who say wait a minute, that's way off base. and so, i just think in suggesting that we can look at whatever language is necessary, but i don't think this congress wants to be bound itself to what the previous congress decided as is evidenced to those who want to undermine the president's health care law. they present congress wants to change her previous congress did. that's part of the nature of the essence. now i don't think -- i think with only a congress may be able to change a future ruds for the american disabilities act. to go through the same robust debate that takes place in congress. you'd have to get the appropriate majority votes and it has to be signed by president. so i think just creating some
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balance and not as a reality of any future issues is just realistic. >> i largely agree with what you said. if congress decided at some future point to defend the ada, you could consider doing that. when he should recall congress uses regular commerce clause and other powers to enact the ada and i'm suggesting it should return to those powers if they wanted to amend the ada. on suggesting to take off the table is the claim some congress might try to expand authority beyond even the broad commerce clause in ways that would address very, very local, traditionally state law issues. that's the only issue i'm talking about. not the ability of congress to legislate. don't be a concern beyond the question of this treaty. concern for treaties because congress cannot ramp up its authority beyond even the commerce clause. >> outfitter treaties you don't have that concern? >> quizzical congress outside of the treaty context.
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the other thing, although i don't think we need to wait for, many justices said the missiles that are general said senate wouldn't do anything crazy like a big prerogatives and immediately justice kennedy said why do i see this? don't say we should depend on congress not doing things were afraid of. let's take them off the table. >> let's be clear, in that case, the basis under which federal action to place, in this case the justice department pursued was thundering enact the statute. it has clearly stated here time and time again fail the relative parties that what is the american with disabilities act as our enacting statutes constitutionally upheld come to the extent the government would have to prosecute under the ada. a dirty prosecutor for those who may have violated. >> as you point out, senator, it
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could be amended. >> of course. anything could be amended. the thing is just a little absurd. it's a little absurd to think that somehow were not going to ever allow a future congress to change anything if previous congress could do because as americans change majorities, for example, they do this for a reason. they want a different course of action. i'm not sure that can be foolproof. i get your concern. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just for those looking on, i know someone raised the issue of the case being heard before react. i just want you to know i'm not the person who did that. i want to make sure people understand i'm not that person. >> you always have a more considered view. >> okay, thank you. a number of our members have not been able to see her today, but her testimony and some of them would like to have until the
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afternoon to ask questions if that's okay for the record. >> about objections to order. >> and are you yourself are a legal scholar in these gentlemen start. the point he's trying to make on this issue is not a future congress cannot change laws. it is that the treaty's ability to affect the commerce clause changes to mount a claim the norms that congress acts under. that is the point i was missed as you all talk past each other i think in this last conversation and i hope it is something were able to resolve. it is just a point i'm observing. i will walk through a very bland set of questions and i apologize because again, we are trying to work through all the legalities here. your testimony spoke to senate is. professor bradley, is something happens down the road, we have
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that here in committee. can you describe how this year pd might alter the constitutional balance of power to turn federal and state governments in the area my research of the states? >> thank you, senator. as i indicated in my testimony, the treaty unlike existing u.s. law addresses some matters that have always been left to state and local regulation or private decision-making. it's not the fault of the convention. the commission is written to accommodate more than 100 legal systems. it doesn't focus on u.s. law. it addresses issues of care for children and family law that primarily in the united states under the domain of state and local law. it also does not distinguish between housing, private housing decisions and public accommodation. obviously, u.s. law makes those distinctions in part because of limits on the federal government authority to limit things that are quite vocal.
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maybe the bond case will or will not change the picture, but right now there's a convention and i thank you for clarifying my exchange that i had before. you're absolutely right about that. the issue is not whether congress to change the law. they could do was use regular powers to do that and that's a different congress. we have case law that says that there's a treaty, congress does not need to worry. there's nothing local allegedly under the treaty in place you can regulate local housing or private actions in this congress would never do. without some protection year, there's at least a danger. we can talk about how profitable it is the convention could be used in a sort of way. i do think it's a danger that could be fully addressed by appropriate reservations. it's quite important we do that. >> are the administrators for processing are you'd be and if not, how would she modify those
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ruds? >> thank you. as i testified, the proposed understandings and reservations are not sufficient. i won't go throw them at the moment. >> can i interrupt or not the ranking member, are you referring to the previous ruds? as i is an know, there are no new ruds. >> there were never adopted. >> they are not sufficient. for one thing, the federalism and private decision-making ruds simply say if you read them carefully at the convention is not requiring that we invade state and local law, not requiring we take over some private decisions. there's not anyway to stop congress from using this idea to expand congress' authority at any time would like to do so in the future. i sense that a lot of people are okay with making it clear that that's not going to happen and i think that has to be fixed. some other things that the understanding on the committee
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does not, for example, refer to the problems they might try to strike down or reservations, which some committee for trade to do before. by the way, senator menendez pointed out you have to push back on that. however, the law commission in the last year or so, to keep on making arm of the u.n. has come on inside against the u.s. position that if a monitoring body finds reservations are no good that we assume the country still done without the benefit. we may push back online as well. it does argue for clarifying this. >> the fact the supreme court recently heard a case on whether they may expand the power of government legitimize concerns even if that case may be decided on other grounds. >> certainly the bond case highlights some of the concerns that get raised when you have a treaty and then implementing legislation. senator menendez is correct that we don't yet have that because we have earlier legislation. the issue people are afraid or
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about is that if we have new legislation. we obviously don't know whether that will happen. in the bond case, a lot of people were surprised the treaty power that was supposed to deal with syria were things we often recognize is now for local crimes within a state. the justices on the supreme court were surprised. i would not be shocked at the senate were surprised that's what they agree to in the chemical weapons convention because that like all treaties is not specific about what it's requiring. you may find online that congress or the executive branch applies them in ways the senate never intended. that's another argument to prevent that from happening down the line, just like maybe we should've done that in the bond case. >> many of these questions have been answered in other ways. i just want to have these for the record today. is it possible to ruds could be overwritten against expand federal power. if so, how would you ensure the
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ruds readopt or protected aquatic >> internet header. we don't have examples of sorry for her to try to go back. i hope that would be unlikely that the condition of the senate's advice to consent. i'm assuming these to be included in the resolution. but if we were worried about that, i talk in my written testimony that could be made very clear in the ruds these are not never both in the way to withdraw them and i think secretary kerry was asked this morning but to be to go back to the senate. i was understanding the secretary to be receptive to clear find that one would need to go back to the senate in order to alter the ruds. i would support that idea. >> thank you very much. can you describe your specific concerns with the crpd, the specific concerns? >> i don't know if this would be
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specific enough for you, but i think we have to have a strong presumption that we get to decide for ourselves. i understand the meaning of the treaty as we promised another country, okay, we are with on this. there has to be some basic limits about what we can promise. we can't have every aspect of domestic public policy up for grabs. we handed off to some international entity or international process. i cannot think of a treaty that is at all analogous to the crpd that covers how american government or american private entities treat other americans and we say were promised in the world, but were going to do this the way the world thinks it should be done. we've crossed a real bridge when we start making those kinds of promises. if i could just briefly in
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relation to the discussion we've been having with curt bradley here, i think the danger of the ruds is not some court will say katya, or overwriting it. the danger, and this is totally foreseeable, this is likely. the monitoring committee in other countries will say no way, you promised. when you promised him he got to live up to your promise. you can't say no, we had our fingers crossed behind are back on this, the senate. we will experience moral and political pressure to abandon and it will be hard for anybody to say, know there was a reservations so forever more we have the reservation. if we think we have leverage in other countries, we should expect to have leverage on a and it may make it hard for us to stick to the exceptions we try to carve out a man is. >> man answered my follow-up to that. but do you think the issues you raise can be fully addressed through the ruds, other than the
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flashpoint cannot. do you think the legal points -- >> i think there's two different issues here. one is, can we anticipate every possible difficulty and provide for and it fans with a ruds, and maybe if we are real imaginative and work hard. even then the question is what does it mean to ratify the treaty when used day, well, we have 28 or 32 exceptions we are taking, but otherwise were part of it. basically if we have enough ruds seamier part of it. why are we pretending to be a part of it? there's that problem in the second problem on any particular one of these exceptions if the monitoring committee of experts says no, you're wrong, do we have the self-confidence to say we don't care what you said. were america. do we have the confidence to
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speak the way secretary kerry did? i'd have to say i was uncomfortable. i think i'm at least as nationalist as he is. i don't french, but i thought it was awkward he said we don't have to do a thing, not one thing. i just think you can't in good faith enter into a treaty and then say to the world, you can't complain. were not doing anything. we routinely have dispute in the wto. doesn't change. but when the body says no what you're doing in america strong commode to change her love. i don't think would find it so easy to just shrug off international criticism, particularly when it comes from the official committee set up to the fact that there compliance. anyone of these ruds we find ourselves on the road seemed okay, sorry, not supposed to do that. we'll change our law. that's what bothers people. >> thank you for her testimony,
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all you. mr. chairman pointing at for having this hearing. >> thank you, senator corker. just a couple questions for ms. west and after all the times that times that we need to use your expertise. you know, the main focus is the reason for this treaty is obviously to extend the makers back at the race for 58 million americans, 5.5 million veterans to find it more likely than not that they will travel someplace in the world for business or education, for pleasure and more likely to not find themselves having standards of accessibility as we enjoy the united states, which is the world leader in this regard. that's the overwhelming, compelling reality. i think your testimony is. you know, for example, the technology's idea, this is an about american business.
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everything we think about has pretty much economic dimensions. i think there's not a wrong looking at american leadership to the private sector in creating in the world, standards that will have the citizens of those countries enjoy a higher standard for the accessibility. so are technologies that provide access and a small niche market for large business opportunity. >> it's a huge market and we think it's at the beginning of a growing market. i think in the past few years, with a smartphone devices, really puts its ability in the center before as its ability and sometimes people think bush is the vision or hearing impairment. at a cell phone really brings to
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play that everyone of us can be situationally disabled. you know, you could be driving a car, but you still want to read your e-mail. you need to read, for example, the e-mail through speech. so we see that as an ability becoming what we call the human centric technologies. because of that -- also, you can think about the aging population in the united states with 56 million people, baby boomers in china at the last 365 million people over age 65 metal the century. when people age, they immediately -- you know, they naturally require disabilities. america is just at the beginning of growth. this is one of those areas we truly believe you can do good while we do well. we've seen that play out in
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ibm's history of the past hundred years. we just think that the crpd really gives a forum and an opportunity for all the business to partake in this generally do well while doing good. >> wheels to talk about the importance of harmonization of international standards when it comes to furthering the interests of the united states and the global market for accessible products. now, there's been some testimony about entanglement in remote international deliberations. aren't we have so many different sectors active in international bodies that are promoted standards so we can try to generate closer and closer to american standard that will open the opportunity for our people as well as business to be globally competitive? >> yes. the standard is very important,
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not just for technology, but for many consumer electronic in a daily area. to harmonize standards, especially based on common in many cases, americans and to is definitely a path to it and also as a preferred position for the u.s. companies because they help to ensure that we have the leadership decisions. it helps to reduce the cost and also in many cases, especially in accessibility area, it really gives that extra kind of amoral benefit because the knowledge he in this case does have people better their employment opportunities. so it's really a great example of american innovation and innovation as it brings, in know, benefit to the entire world in general.
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>> thank you. i'm glad we have that for the record. let me close with some final observations. i think professor rabkin, you seem to be missing a major point of secretary kerry's testimony. you stated several times that what the secretary said, the u.s. does not have any obligations under the treaty. he didn't say that. what is testified to his wee authority met our obligations under the treaty, so many to take no additional action to comply. i think that's a very significant difference than to say there aren't obligations whatsoever. we have taken those obligations. secondly, let me just say that the administration, both today and at other times has repeatedly stated that before this committee, that all legislation necessary to
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implement the treaty are already existing. so therefore, the conversation that we've had about what the ruds look like are important to amplify that and make sure that there is no views that would undermine that reality. now, the concern that the treaty committee could suddenly declare itself the arbiter of ruds, simply deafening online hold water in the context of some of our history. for over 20 years, we've been a party to the international covenant on civil and political rights are what is called the icc pr come which created the human rights committee. we ratified the treaty with a number of rights, many of which were similar to those were seeking to include for the disabilities treaty despite an effort for the human rights committee to expand its authority. it remains valid, both
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internationally as well as domestically. our courts, including the supreme court in so-so versus alvarez mccain affirmed the validity of our ruds and others in general. so i just think it's important, as members read and many will make a considered judgment that they know some of that reality. finally, i have a statement from secretary should sack in the disabilities in support of it and i ask unanimous consent that it be entered into the record. with the thanks of the committee for your testimony, there may be some follow-up questions because the nature that took forward. to keep the record open until the close of business on monday for members to submit any questions they have. i thank you for your individual expertise and insights in this committee stands adjourned.
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[inaudible conversations] >> marking the 50th anniversary of his assassination in dallas. [background noise] [background noise]
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>> we will replace several events from today, including a remembrance from dealey plaza inn valley, texas and the labor in boston. it all begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
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>> lady bird johnson was the first wife of a president to become a millionaire by investing in and running tv stations in texas. watch our program saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and mike monday night our series continues. >> during the president's historic trip to china, they notice how mrs. nixon was looking at a package of cigarettes. the package was admiring them. he said i also understand that neither the solution. yes, aren't they darling. we will make sure you have pandas going forward. it was important for her to uphold and support her husband.
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just to be in there was so much goodwill and it was always at the end of the trips are the news reports would come out. they would talk about the president this way, but they would always save what a wonderful job pat nixon did. >> free small business owners told a senate small business subcommittee wednesday that they'll want to provide health insurance for their employees, but there needs to be legislative fixes to the health care ought to address affordability and uncertainty issues. these testified about how the federal insurance exchange marketplace is working for them. democratic louisiana senator mary landrieu chairs the subcommittee. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> good morning, everyone. and if we could take our seats and welcome to this important hearing this morning. the purpose that today's hearing is to explore the success stories of the rollout of the affordable care act in states throughout the country, where teamwork and collaboration has proven to be exceedingly effective. we will also hear from a federal panel that will talk about the federal rollout in some of the challenges that have presented themselves. normally, we have the federal panel first federal panel first in the state cannot can, but at the discretion of the chair, i've are per se, but require the federal leaders to be here to hear from state exchange is an individual business owners about how the situation could be improved. i'd like to begin by quoting, i think it was mark twain who
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said, i can get halfway around the world before truth gets out of bed in the morning and puts its boots on. so this morning, we are going to try to give truth a chance. thank you for joining us for this hearing. the affordable care act passed as we all know in march 2010 and was signed into law by the president three days later. that was over three and a half years ago. last year, the supreme court upheld one of the essential components of this law, the no free writer provision, requiring full participation through private and public health insurance places. the goals of the affordable care act at the time we pass a law implemented for creating a workforce that is healthy because only a healthy workforce can be a strong work force an american means the strongest work for speaking data so we can continue to have the strongest
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economy in the world. those are the goals three and half years ago. that is the hope and promise today. there were for specific goals of the affordable care act. one, too slow skyrocketing health care costs and reduce that america spends on health care as a share of our gdp. it was rising from 15% to 16.5 and had it very soon to 19. the trend has been reversed. to use the power not of the government, but the private sector competition, the proven power of private sector competition to reign in costs and improve quality care and coverage. to provide the first opportunity in the history of our country, whether union or nonunion, middle, high or low income wage earner. whether self-employed, small or large business, to access
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affordable quality health care. in one of the most exciting and underappreciated leaders of the affordable care act and when this committee has focused a great deal of work is that it provided for the first time a key to americans to unlock them from job lock, which prevents individuals in every state, including my own, from starting a new business because the risk associated with leaving full and good employment with full and good health care coverage causes them to stay sometimes in companies where they themselves might even do a better job starting their own, providing disruptive technology or good services. i am proud to hand many of our entrepreneurs that key and intend to do so. according to the robert wood johnson foundation, nearly 1.5 million americans, including
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25,000 louisianians will become self-employed links to this bill, allowing them to fulfill their dream of becoming a notch printer, to pursue their dreams, to create the products or the system or service they've dreamed about and have health insurance, which is not possible before the affordable care act. worth, to provide coverage to millions of low-income and working-class families that work 40, 50 and 60 hours a week and work for decades and yet could not afford health care in the united states of america. the way that this bill has been crafted, and they will if the governors would expand medicaid should be able to choose their hospitals, doctors are not health care. unfortunately, many of our governors are standing in the way. this is the hope and vision that we fought for. it is still worth fighting for now.
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the focus at today's hearing will be specifically that one coverage options and access to our small businesses or businesses regardless of size. i want to be clear, this is about the self-employed, about the growing percentage of our population that call themselves contract yours because of the way our economy is structured to be very flexible and independent. small businesses below 50 and small businesses above. now we all know the rollout of the federal marketplace for individuals has not worked as well as we hoped. we know there's many challenges. we will hear about those today. thank goodness there are bright examples throughout the united states, where the aca's vision is working and we are going to hear from the states today. specifically, we are going to hear from representatives leading the implementation of the shop marketplace is now open at the state level to understand
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both the challenges and successes experienced by those states, who accepted the responsibility to build their own exchanges, who accepted the challenge of the federal government to say we can't always do things right. here, we'll give you the option to do it. some governors are brave enough to do so. others were not. usually this committee or some federal officials as they set them up but i've asked them specifically to be in the room because they need to hear the best practices about what's going on around the country. so they can get a better understanding of what we're trying to do. we will also be hearing from representatives of federal agencies, et cetera. then they go into a few more things. the time i take will be given equally to the minority. before we begin, they could take a moment to put today's discussion to context. as we were debating the health care reform act and as he robustly engage debate and home design the system we have now, which was a compromised system
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between a government run single-payer system and a medical savings account system with no floor or no safety net. we designed this. it was particularly for 96% of all businesses that employ fewer than 50 people who are struggling to remain competitive and we were focused on helping them. small businesses are paying an average of 18% more than big business for health insurance that wasn't the same quality and they saw their health care costs increase faster than the products and services they were selling. the records as four times faster than the rate of inflation between 2001 and nine, after a remain relatively flat in the 1990s, average annual family premiums for workers of small businesses increased by 123%. from 571,999 to 12,700 in 2009.
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.. firms offering coverage started falling from 65% to 59%, and it was spiraling downward. it's no wonder that since 1986, one concern for every small business every year has been access to affordable care, and this is not from a liberal think tank, this is the finding of the national federation of independent business. they have testified before our committee on many occasions. this made reform, in my mind, and competition, reducing cost for small business andport providing coverage to their employees that serve as the
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backbone of this americanov economy and a model for the world. a shop is an online marketplace where small businesses with 50 or fewer employees can purchase health insurance because under the affordable care act, they are not required, the businesses aren't required, and businesses can function in the shopd, marketplaces will give small business owners the tools he needed to be smart consumers as they choose affordable offshoote for their businesses without damaging their bottom line and leveling the playing field withd large businesses through andth have access for their employees and many are like family. i cannot tell you how manyrdab small-business owners have come upop to me but i cannot find it anywhere and because my best friend that helped me we are
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completely priced out. how am i going to keep my business? because i feel badly because i don't want to ask him to leave. if he was pleased, i could get employment, i mean insurance for my businesses. that's a choice i don't think americans should be making and i don't want anyone in louisiana to make that choice or have to make that choice. all shops will be open to employers with up to 100 individuals pooling these -- pulling these eligible small businesses into larger groups will spread the risk of lowering the injures to stop charging premiums that are greater uncertainty about the likely health care cost for small groups. the new shop marketplaces will allow small businesses to compare plans easily which was
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hardly ever possible before. taking the administrative burden off of employers and allowing them to get back to running their businesses which they do best not filing paperwork to get health insurance. if it's a broken market we intend to fix it. the business roundtable reports the administrative cost of small business through the exchange would be reduced by as much as 22%. i would like people's eyes to focus on what's happening in a good way and still challenging ways. this is the united states of america, you will recognize it. declared a state-based exchanges are in red. planning for partnership exchanges are in the gray area and those states that default in the federal government, and i want to underscore this because mine is one of them, states that
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had a chance to set up in exchange for their small businesses that were given every opportunity and in my, in the case of my stated was also attached with a check for $16 billion to help make it work was rejected by my governor and many governors. and instead, they default to that of their own choice, not my choice. at their own choice, not a president obama choice to let the federal government set up their exchanges and then did nothing virtually to help. it's no wonder some of them weren't working but today we are going to have the opportunity to talk to those governors and those states both republican and democrat that did step up and leave. they did take what was offered to them and a set of exchanges that could work for their small businesses. each state has the flexibility to decide how they want to operate their publisher and marketplaces. as you can see on the map there were four different categories
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that each of the 50 states and the district of columbia fit into. some states have what they call federally facilitated exchanges, which means they are not choosing to set up their own market and leaving it to the federal government. that would be mine. i wish you had been given a choice that that was one mistake in the bill leaving it up to the governors, maybe not a mistake. but in conjunction with the states they chose to be a partnership with the federal government we will see how that's working. in another group of states have blood exchanges where they run the individual marketplace and the state runs the shop marketplace. the states cover approximately one third of the population of the united states. this is a big country and it goes way beyond the beltway of
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washington dc. you're going to hear today about one third of the population that it's either working really, really well or it's working to some degree with some changes could work better in a few places where they are having some serious challenges but your going to hear from people that are at least trying. kentucky and the district of columbia are included in the category and we will be hearing from the representatives during the first panel this morning and in total there are 18 states across the district of columbia running their own shop exchanges. for the wreck or since this is so important i want to put the states in the record. california, colorado, connecticut, the district of columbia not a state yet. maybe one day. hawaii, idaho, kentucky, maryland, massachusetts, nevada, new mexico, new york, rhode island, vermont, and washington state. in all parts of the country, some with republican governors, some with republican
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legislators, some democratic legislators but all with people who need leadership to help them find health care they can afford and it makes up nearly 40% of all of the nations small employers in the state. we know that the rollout of the individual website has been disappointing to say the least. but today's hearing is focused on the rollout of the shop exchanges which is the focus of our committee where we had a lot of input into how the bill was defined to emphasize the need for the rollout not just for individuals but businesses. today as i said we are joined by states accepted the challenge and responsibility to create the state-based exchanges and did it well as well as those that are having difficulty. for those states that made the decision to operate their own shop marketplaces we are already seeing evidence. i was completely happy to see
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them spoke to the senator busheir kentucky did what i thought we should all do and i have a bill to correct those views the license told agence -- health agents which is a brilliant idea. they understood the market well and they were able to hear more about that. that's kentucky and you will hear more about kentucky. between october 1 and 13, they had more than 84,000 visitors to their website. he says that the dc chamber of commerce, the greater washington into the senate chamber and the western association partnered to build this exchange and put their muscle and their
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brainpower behind it and it's one of the most successful in the country nearly 700 employee or accounts have been created and finally in new mexico and the senators here have seen a similar success while. they accepted the leadership challenge and to date 1,143 small but as is with 3,192 employees have been registered, required information with the new mexico exchange. if they enroll with the average number of dependents, that would be a potential total of 8,000 members and it's just been opened for a very short period. making it work the way that it was intended is what i intended to try to do. there are others that have different goals. ensuring the marketplaces work the way they were intended when we passed the act is vital to helping the businesses in the country. they get the help that they need
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to stay healthy. not just to stay healthy physically but to be mentally free of the worry that any day your business is one day a way from bankruptcy or your family is one accident away from bankruptcy. there is no price that you could put in my view on peace of mind you i don't know any economist in the world that could price if i can tell you as a mother it is very costly. the shop marketplaces need to work for the small business owners to easily and efficiently compare the different plans available. they can pick the plan that makes the most sense. now opponents of the law, and there are many, they are fixated on the problems of the mall as opposed to the promise that it holds. i believe this is wrong. problems are fixable. we fix many things in the united
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states, big things and great things. this is something we can fix. regardless of how we voted for the aca it is the wall of the land and it deserves to be fixed, not repealed. we have the responsibility. this isn't about president obam, it's about the people of the united states of america. it's about the millions of small business owners that want desperately to provide quality affordable healthcare to their employees who dreamed about building a business. who loved the people that they work with and they were never able to find something they could afford and if the data, they have to compromise below their standards because i know americans pretty well. and it's about people like armstrong from baton rouge and independent construct and workers onshore and off. we have a lot of those people. because of the nature of his
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employment he works on several different projects in the course of his year and he's not a member of the labor union. in 2012, he got mine different w-2s. he works hard every day but the nature of his employment means he can't get coverage through his employers. when he tried to get blue cross blue shield baby -- because of his diabetes. he can get coverage on the marketplace and give flexibility to work in a project he wants without worrying if it will provide coverage or not. this is why we are having the hearing to make sure we are doing everything possible to make sure that this act works for small business owners and their employees. my goal for the hearing is that old not to be the location for grandstanding but an opportunity to focus on the work before us which is fixing what is broken. to do that we have to be honest with each other and hoping to
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hear testimony about what is working, what's not working and when we find something that's not how can it be fixed. some of the witnesses today are small-business owners that have yet to realize the benefit of their colleagues in the state where these exchanges are working. some of the businesses are in states the governor said we don't want to help you. that is the situation. i'm going to add one thing to the record and turn it over to my ranking member. there was a study that came out yesterday that i want to put into the record. the tax study, would somebody please handed to me? i have it here. this study came out this week. the supreme court decision and its head in surprise or employers. this is about medicaid expansion and the key finding is states that do not expand medicaid even employers exposed to high your shared responsibility payments under the affordable care act.
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the associated cost to employers could total 876 million to 1.3 billion each year in the 22 states that have opposed. leaning against or remain undecided. the decision in texas before the medicaid expansion may increase federal tax penalties on the texas employers by $299, 448. now this is from a completely nonpartisan jackson hewitt -- i think they prepare tax returns -- i don't think they owe the stakeholder groups to anyone. because the decision governor. eight, his decision, not president obama, is going to cost business more. i'm going to turn it over to the senator. he can have as much time as i did which was about 20 minutes,
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25 minutes and then we will go to the statements submitted in the record and then directly to the testimony. i think all of my colleagues for coming this morning. >> thank you very much, madam chairman. and i first of all i command you for holding this hearing probably not for the reason that you think, but certainly when you fill hundreds of billions of dollars against the wall, to try to use the handful of things that actually have worked and nobody knows how many pages of regulations to say okay it's working but it's ignore the overall problem. again, i commend you for your courage for the statement that you helped design the system.
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i suspect as we go forward to trying to find people who will admit to having some part is going to be like having somebody that admitted for voting for richard nixon. there have been -- this has been a catastrophic failure across america and you talk about the truth and you quoted. they don't understand all of the complexities of healthcare and healthcare insurance and what have you but they know when they've been lied tocome into th, and thepolling is incrediblg indicating that the belief that they've been lied to. it's to solve problems this doesn't bode well as we go
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forward. you had your list of success and one of them was idaho. when i was governor i appointed the gentleman that sits at the director's department of welfare. my successor kept him on and he's a really good guy that came onto the insurance industry. i'm not exactly sure if you were boasting that idaho is one place where obamacare is working. but it is a disaster in idaho. i know that you brought in some people from kentucky to talk about some of the good things. i'm told that isn't a very high bar, but i have a couple of letters that i want to put into the record. what an indication of what is actually happening in kentucky
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this is from a group in kentucky and this is written by the executive vice president that he says we are writing to you to explain what we are seeing in kentucky and through other parts of the country that poses to the cohost is under the affordable care act. well, with over 18,000 employees it isn't a small company. our insurance group serves over a thousand small businesses with their insurance needs throughout kentucky and the united states. the remainder of this letter lays out what we are seeing. for an agency to represent its customers was possibly, we need to be able to share all options available. at this point, kentucky's healthcare connect presents us with more challenges than solutions. to date we have not enrolled any groups in the small business health options program shop
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primarily because of the confusion the system has created. business owners are anxious and frustrated as to what they have to do in order to get pricing. creating an account with them connect and then assigning an agent takes a considerable amount of time it is not something that they should have to do while managing their business. he then goes on to list many more of the problems. the other one comes from the benefits firm in kentucky, and begin to senio the senior vice t writes kentucky has been viewed by other states and people in washington dc that most things have gone correctly with the health insurance marketplace. while it is true that connect has been operating properly, especially compared to the federally facilitated marketplace, there are still many a result problems. in particular the sharp exchanges logistically and technologically we are not having the same success in kentucky with the sharp exchanges as we are with individuals and connect. this week i've reached out to
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numerous employee brokers in kentucky, none of which have finished a connect shop exchange application. while, i do believe that the technical hindrance as part of the problem, it is not a merry obstacle to the success of the sharp exchanges. i firmly believe that there are flaws to this existence that the current law cannot overcome. numerous businesses that i have worked with decided that with the ppaca there are advantages however the advantages to their business is to drop their employer-sponsored health plan and allow the families to enroll. then he goes on and explains why that is a very good financial decision for the small business. there is no doubt that there are some things that happened here that are good. but when you throw these hundreds of millions of dollars at it, you are bound to find that. last i would like to focus on something that is really
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undermined the confidence of the people of america. when the president stood up as many times as he did particularly deictic senators stood up as many times as they did looked in the camera and said if you like your -- if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. those of us accustomed to that the first time said that's impossible. where the government was going to lay out all of these things that they were going to require hiin the new healthcare plan, no plan would exist. i don't know how the president of the united states could stand up and say that and then repeat it over and over and over again, when these people had to tell him about the policies no longer exist. somebody should have said mr. president, stop saying that. you're going to get hit over the head with this and now of course the chickens have come home to roost. that's where we are. we try to change this. my good colleague, senator in the coming introduced the senate joint resolution 939, and we have a vote on the senate floor
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on october 21, 2010. and that resolution -- which would have become the law of the united states -- said if you like your plan, you can keep it. but we were not able to pass that, were we, senator enzi? there was a straight partyline vote with all republicans voting for senator enzi's bill saying just what the president promised, and every democrat voting against that promise. and it's really unfortunate that it's come to that. while, here we are again trying to apply lipstick to this pig. no matter how it is said to come at the numbers are deteriorating every day as far as the confidence of the eric and people -- the american people. and particularly in going forward what we are going to do about this catastrophe. and that is a problem that i think that you and your colleagues are going to have a
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very difficult time wrestling with but the good news is we are americans and we are going to have an election n-november and americans will have a say in this and everybody is going to be able to stand up and say look, i did this. i helped design this system. i have my hands involved in this, so put me back there and see if i can't do a little bit better next time and the american people are going to decide whether or not it is appropriate, and that is exactly as it should be in america. and as with all other issues we have had in america, even though this is what someone would call a man-made disaster, we will get through this year we are americans, we know how to fix these problems and we will do it. with that, i will yield back. >> thank you, senator. let's begin on the panel with our first panelist and then i am going to call on the senator to introduce the gentleman from his state. but let me start with mr. william, the executive to be
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the director of the health benefits change. anin the david allen, president and ceo of david allen enterprise. i'm sorry we are going to go in the order of -- go-ahead and then i will come back and introduce everyone else. go ahead. >> terming landrieu, ranking member, we really appreciate, and members of the committee, we appreciate -- >> you have to speak into your microphone. it's just a little bit -- >> i appreciate the opportunity to come over here to dc this morning and to share the experience with our exchange, which we call as senator roush says he can't connect. it is a combined exchange in that both our shop and/or individual is for administrative purposes operated under one name. my name as the senators are going to executive director of the kentucky health benefit
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exchange. it's a long title that we had a lot of response will be. i have submitted a written statement, and also some other documents but i assume will be made part of the record. >> it will be part of the record. you have four minutes and ten seconds. >> my next note was time is wanted, but i think a little bit of time should be spent to talk about the landscape in kentucky. as it has existed for a number of years. our population is about 4.4 million. 640,000 of those individuals are uninsured. a great concern to our governor, however, is the health status of our state. we are 44th in the overall health status. fifty of them smoking. fortieth in obesity. forty-first and diabetes, 50th and cancer deaths, 49th in heart disease, 43rd and cholesterol counts, 48 in heart attacks.
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you know, we began our implementation of the law immediately after it was passed. but as you know, many of the provisions of the wall were related to insurance matters early on. and the exchange seemed like it was a far-off, you know, 2010 the exchange is really don't have to be operational at the 2014. but we begin immediately to try to bring the consensus among our state coffers in kentucky about what we were wanting to do with this exchange when the time came. so, everyone in our state wanted us to do a state-based exchange. everyone. i think the president and some in kentucky probably said it best. he said if i'm going to be regulated, i want to be regulated across the kentucky river, not the potomac river and
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that kind of said it all i think. and a lot of these stakeholders were opposed. they realized that, you know, at least until the supreme court would make its decision that we were stuck with it and so it is a good thing that we are stuck with it. that's the way we found it anyway. so, of course we continue to meet with the governor a long way between decisions about what we were going to do and so she wanted to wait until after the supreme court had ruled to really dig into this and get moving and that is what he did so we presented all of the pros and condoms to the governor about what we should do or what we should and do and he kind of stopped and he said what, and he's a lawyer. he read the bill and he said this bill provides a unique opportunity for kentucky to improve these health statistics.
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i want you to do everything that you can to use this bill, not with the bill used me, that's two use the bill to improve our health and that has been the charge that we have accepted and have gone with ever since. my time is getting short here. i do want to share with you -- we went live on october 1 down for a few hours, slowed up for a few hours ... all straightened out and we have been running ever since. and helping people get n. roll of not only in the shop but also in the individual market. so i guess the message from our governor is that he was very strong in his opinion that the best way that we could improve the health of the state was to go the health-based exchange route and then also what we have
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done is we have gotten agents involved. right now 94% of the small insurance policies in our state a small insurance policies are offered through agents could. >> try to wrap up, please. >> yes ma'am. well, to summarize, and again this is in particular with regards to the shop, since we went live on october 1, we have had 193 small businesses that have started a petition's to be eligible for employee coverage. >> i'm going to have to stop you there. we have so many people to testify, and i really appreciate -- have a wonderful statement we've put into the record. we are going to have to go to the second panelist. >> thank you for holding this hearing on the rollout of the affordable ^-caret small business exchanges. with attention squarely focused on the implementation challenges at the national level, a deep
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understanding of how our small businesses are faring in securing meaningful and affordable health insurance coverage for their employees is timely any central to the economic well-being of america americans, just an introduction? okay well i'm delighted and honored to be here today to introduce one of our panelists, doctor martin who will describe to you in detail the success of the new mexico shop. he's not only a member of new mexico health insurance exchange but he is also the ceo of the connections. a not-for-profit plan performed under the affordable care act to provide health insurance to small groups and individuals in new mexico. he's also a general internist who first practiced on the mouth of a nation i and he's dedicated himself to developing the overall health programs. over the past three decades, he built a distinguished career in health systems administration and delivery system reform is the country coming if we are fortunate to have him in new
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mexico. >> thank you. you have got five minutes. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify today about the early success of new mexico small business exchange. in mexico legislative aide state-based exchange board in march of just this year. the board consists of 13 highly represented members of groups including small-business consumers, native americans, hispanics, health insurers. within five months, the board in its very capable team selected an experienced private exchange vendor to develop a statewide plan for marketing the trained over 500 healthcare guide, said the rule for an open market exchange come and succeeded in launching a fully operational website on october 1. in this time of the national
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glitches of frederick the board is very supportive of the governors as martinez of the exchange of the health insurers in all of new mexicans are very proud of the early enrollment successes but i will certainly detail. you've got a background on myself. i have been the ceo and the senior manager and insurance companies | scott hospitals. i have seen this business from every single side and what i am so proud of is that i have always built on access to care and what has come together from literally both sides of the aisle in new mexico has come together passionately to assure access to care. new mexico is 22% uninsured, second only to texas, has 200,000 uninsured and 118 of them are eligible for financial assistance and get this.
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only 47% of the population has employer-sponsored insurance, the lowest in the nation which has an average of 58%. our state exchange is unique from host others and w if we cat a hybrid because the exchange formed so late we didn't have time to implement an individual exchange this year. we were, however, able to procure a print you go contract with an information-technology company with seven years of experience in building prayer he exchanges. next month will begin work on implanting the technology for the individual exchange which will be ready to roll out for enrollment in october 2014. in the meantime, we have had to depend upon the federal exchange, but be well new mexico has a calculator, is education all coming in i into the federal exchange it becomes c. and people will become informed. small business exchange is also unique in that it's not only offers employers a choice of plans, but it offers a choice to each of their employees as well.
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the employee o employer enters , elects the reference plan and designates a percentage of a premium that will be covered. and then creates -- but then creates a dollar amount made available to their employee for the premium support and whatever plan the employee chooses. that's the employee. a choice of any plan, any carrier at that level at whatever cost. and that is what is so great about new mexico health insurance exchange for small businesses. and their employees. choice can't choice and choice. you know what's even better? it works. and it's easy. i did it for my family last week, and it was like going down a water slide. there's even a calculator to help an employee choose the right plan based upon generalized use of healthcare and the path. i think the following quote from a small business in albuquerque and an attorney for employee sums it up best. quote, i was very pleasantly surprised.
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i thought it was good to be an administrative nightmare commander literally took me 15 minutes. they gave me a quote that would save me a thousand dollars over what i was paying. i thought this was going to be in all these things. so i had a diet coke can be and have a good bunch an lunch and s almost disappointing that it was so easy. i was blown away. so, senator with a number of employees it is essentially propelled us wednesday in rome and finishes up by the end of the month of over 8,000 members which already meets the goal that the board had set for the state and we struggled the rest of the year and all of next year to go. so we have got 500 personal sisters and the brokers are very heavily involved as well. the other thing to emphasize is the cost and basically i would tell you the superintendent estimates that the rate for next year will be no more than 5% for they were this year when the
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american society said it would be a 34% increase. we also set up a very competitive process. i know i had to go through it. >> speeto. >> a great opportunity to cover their employees and to do so with extensive choice and [inaudible] >> thank you. my only question is are you available to come to washington? mr. david allen. >> speeto i am the owner and operator of the practice management and independent medical billing company in boulder co. got a. we provide medical billing to practice management services to several hundred healthcare providers in the agent states. i currently employ 33 full-time
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personnel. obviously, we are well below the employer mandate threshold of the 50. yet we provide the company paid health insurance to our employees anyway under a small group plan and have for many years. we do so because we can. and we feel that it is the right thing to do. i, myself, work as an employee for other companies before choosing self-employment. it's been increasingly hard for me to continue. it's our second largest expense. even with annual inflation rates in the one to 2% range are the premiums increased every year by 20% or more. asked i wish i could pass this along to my customers, they are experiencing the same pressures to manage the rising expenses in their small businesses. we have done some creative things over the years to reduce the magnitude of the premium increases while maintaining the
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integrity of our coverage. and have been successful in continuing to pay for 100% of the cost of premiums of our employees one such tactic was to select an insurance policy that covers only generic pharmaceuticals. anyone who requires a pharmaceutical that is only available as a brand-new product has to purchase it out of pocket. as a result of the affordable character or carrier has discontinued its policy. as it does not meet the minimum standards under the law. due to this one change, the premiums are scheduled to increase by 52.3% in january of 2014. clearly to provide the same benefits to my employees is entirely unrealistic. i will have no choice but to require my employees to contribute substantially to the cost of their premiums. the irony is that none of my employees correctly taken a brand-name prescriptions or
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expect to in the foreseeable future. this law has turned what was a potential expense for employees into a guaranteed expense for my employees for something they neither need nor want. since the affordable care act is what caused this problem for me, i decided to embrace it and turned to the state insurance exchange in hopes it would provide me with more affordable and appealing options. the first obstacle was that the website was not allow me to create an account. after my attempt i initiated a chat with one of the exchange support personnel and was told after close to an hour of waiting that they were having technical difficulties with creating accounts and i should try again later. i did eventually create an account in the download of a census template. i then began a frustrating experience of attempting to upload the census. i tried unsuccessfully several times received errors such as the wrong file type and was the
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very template. after initiating my second online chat, it eventually came out of my web browser might be at fault. i find it unfortunate website didn't disclose a browser reiterations. upon switching browsers, i was able to get the website to acknowledge the file i was attempting to upload. it wasn't formatted correctly. my third online chat resulted in validation that my data was in fact formatted correctly and that the website was again experiencing technical difficulties. growing increasingly impatient i resorted to having my assistant manually type the information into the website. which should have taken as minutes to complete. but instead it took hours. have a link having finally
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uploaded i received options for which to choose. i found it challenging to objectively compare and contrast with our current plan, and the 2014 equivalent because we currently offer a tolerable $750 annual deductible to our employees and the lowest deductible available to us under the state exchange is up to $1500. in short the only way that we can reduce the cost of our health insurance is through the state exchanges to select a policy with a genetically higher deductible, thus shifting the financial burden for me to my employees. friendly, i can do this on my own without the assistance of the exchange v6. >> [inaudible] to make the assertions that didn't cause a financial strain such as forgoing the pharmaceuticals. on the surface, my company stands to benefit from the affordable care act on the basis that more people will consume health care services, provided by my client, thus resulting in more business for me. but this very hinges on the
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affordability of the entrance available to the populace. if my experience is any indication of the consequences it would appear that the affordable care act accomplished the polar opposite of what the law was designed to do. thank you for your attention. >> the next witness is mr. drew green bloc. >> please identify your state and the kind of exchange you have to just for the record you are in court over the state run exchange obviously according to the testimony has some difficulties. what is your state and what kind of exchange do you have? >> maryland state and we have the shop exchange but it's starting in april. and it's a federal exchange. chairwoman, ranking member and
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members of the u.s. senate committee on small business and entrepreneurship thank you for the virginity to testify today. i am the president and owner of marlin steel wire products with cheap fabrications. we make it 100% in the usa and we make it here and we ship to 36 countries and my favorite is the export to china. i am pleased to testify on behalf of the national infectors on the executive committee of the national association of manufacturers. since we are in a small business committee, i thought you would be interested to know that our average number has 35 employees. 97% of us provide a veteran for our employees. the health and safety of the workers is critical to manufacturers. as a matter of fact, marlin steel, my company had a milestone. 1800 days without a lost time
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accident. the most -- the thing that i am the most proud of him running this company. this commitment to a safe workplace and the overall health of our employees is critical. to me and offering high-quality health care coverage as a part of that mix. providing good coverage is personally important to me because my family is on the same plan as all of my employees. so, we are all in this together. generally, come t can't expect n health insurance cost to go up about eight to 12% a year. i was startled and shocked when our health insurance went up 49% this year. i want to provide health insurance for my employees and their families. we've been doing it for 15 years since i bought the company. but now because it is so high in our plan in effect is not viable because it isn't affordable. ultimately, we were able to
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secure an alternative coverage plan for my employees because our term and they december 1. my premium however is still going up 10%. the play i purchased includes benefits i don't really need nor do my employees want to read this is key to th predictabilits gone up. the costs have gone up despite all the promises that the cost would go down. if i told my clients we are raising the price is 49%, they would laugh at me. 49% is out of control. even if i sat down and explained you are going to have new features added on 20 here about it and this is the environment that we are in. i discovered the shop exchange maryland was delayed until april. i'm not sure what products it offers. this is the kind of instability that is harmful to our economy. we don't know how much our employees to cost this year or next year. how do i quoted jobs against my
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competitors in china and when jobs that are three and fight your contracts when i don't know how much my costs are going to be? i know that the aca isn't going to go away and any change has to happen through bipartisan legislation. i urge legislators on both sides of the aisle to look at all of the health laws that are not working and please come and fix them. this will not get better with finger pointing. this isn't going to get better with the regrets of broken promises. we need practical approaches right now. cost was and is, remains our main issue. reducing the cost of care makes the healthcare delivery system more efficient and directly impacts the access to coverage. >> please wrap up. i am sorry. >> driving up the cost of coverage and then providing subsidies to some just camouflage is the undermining problem. i may not be a supporter of the current system, but i would
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support changes that allow me to continue to provide high poverty alter to my employees at a reasonable price. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. >> thank you for your testimony and i apologize. you did a very good job and i thank you for fixing it as opposed to the rhetoric associated with another propos proposal. >> good morning madam chair landrieu, ranking member risch and other distinguished members of the committee. i'm honorei honored to be here d to share my negative impact obamacare has had on the small business and me. my name is sheila and i am the self proprietor of the early to -- early2surge but fell to default and they exchanged.
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i'm a marketing consulting business and the mission is to improve or accelerated the development and commercialization of the surgical devices. my primary customers are start up device companies. now i've been in healthcare for over 35 years. i am well aware of the weaknesses into strengths within our health care system. i don't think that there is a person in this great country of ours who doesn't wish for every individual to have affordable health care. obamacare has negatively impacted by business and has filled me with uncertainty during im my business. i plan for many years to have my own business. i invested my time and my money to begin to surge the past february. i am not eligible for shop at this time, but it would be a reality if and when i could
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afford to expand. that is in my business plan. now i would like to direct you to either of the screen that you have in front of you or a charge that i have said that it -- submitted. i was shocked when i received a notice from blue cross and blue shield of my health-care plan was to be canceled and it was going to be replaced by one that has been chosen for me after the tune of $584,000 a month. if you look at the chart, we all need to be clear on this. there is one health-care plan. when i hear people talk about, you know, go to the exchange, shop. you have one plan. that plan includes the benefits listed in the left-hand column. you can see sheila's plan is the one i chose my services. i've done that all these years. i chose those services and the
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deductible for $202 a month. now, with obamacare, i have to have those ten essential benefits. now i challenge anybody in this room to look at the services that i'm selecting for myself and noting and 61. i know i don't look like it, and i have no children or history about the whole or drug abuse, yet. [laughter] this is driving me to drink. [laughter] but does anybody here think i need all the services on the left-hand column? i don't think so. to have those choices removed from me, to have the government tony this is what is best for you, i am really -- shocked is not a word. it is unacceptable. it's unacceptable now and it is going to be unacceptable to 12
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months from now. and i will never expect for someone to make my health-care choice for me. the only thing that the exchanges do and i've gone on the exchanges, you have a selection of what's your deductible, what's your copayment, what are you going to do for prescription come are you going to be in network or out-of-network but i don't care if you are a man or a woman you are going to have maternity and newborn care you're going to have pediatric services and your great to have services that you may or may not need. you know, that i think there should be a fix and i'm hoping to work with anyone to fix that. so, how has it affected my business? it's impacted how am i going to establish my business and grow my business and expand my business. all of that is going to be delayed. and it's working up to par.
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if i have identity theft any of us have identity theft. we all know what the consequences of that is. it could wipe me out to the point that i would never recover. so, in our business could health-care business, we have a motto. first, do no harm. i want to see everybody have affordable health care. that is a given. but there are some fixes that need to be made and i am happy to help. >> thank you very much, ms. evans. >> will come back. >> ranking member risch and members of the committee, i am the president and ceo of the association for enterprise opportunity, aeo the organization and a voice in the
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united states. for more than 21 years, and the more than 450 member and partner network of nonprofit lenders and business development organizations have provided critical services, access to capital and business counseling to underserved entrepreneurs all across the country. the importance of the topic today helps value to the micro businesses that cannot be overstated. similarly, our discussion how certain elements of the affordable care act are changing the health-care landscape couldn't be timelier. before we proceed to the topic however, i would like to give the committee some statistics. the businesses with under five employees that aeo released just last week. the report, bigger than you think the economic impact of the united states tells a powerful story of how the nation's smallest businesses make an outside contribution to our
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economy. there are 26 million micro businesses in the united states, or about 92% of all businesses. the ripple effect of the direct, indirect and induced economic activities of the firms is quite impressive. the total employment of more than 41 million americans, total economic impact of the nearly $5 trillion com, and total revee contributions of $135 billion to the federal, state, local government just in 2011. in other words, although these mainstream businesses are small, they are combined impact is quite significant. despite the advantages, however, many would-be entrepreneurs that are reticent to leave their jobs due to concerns about health hee access. for decades, the inability to obtain health insurance has been a barrier for those who are interested in starting a business. it is well-documented that access to health insurance drives employee positions.
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before the aca removed the barriers to obtaining insurance, employees often chose even though they were unhappy with their unemployment. the inability to access for veterans, prevented those who might have. as the chair express this morning the robert wood foundation does project but merely 1.5 million americans, including 25,000 just in the chair home state of louisiana will become self-employed thanks to the insurance reform in the affordable care act. the on-chip viewers and micro businesses have the unfortunate choice of hamstringing their revenues by providing health insurance for their employees were losing their employees to larger companies who can provide that insurance. the reforms to the health insurance market, in our
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opinion, were necessary and we hope the changes would lead to better prices and more choices. our optimism is based largely on the exchange is also referred to as new marketplaces which allow individuals or small businesses to pool together statewide to obtain insurance. the federal rollout of the program is in complete disarray. why do most of the government's attention has been focused on fixing the individual exchange, the small business exchange has been treated as a secondary concern. we fear the implementation of the federally facilitated shop will continue to suffer delays. even though it requires individuals to obtain old insurance by march, 2014, many of the individuals and businesses and at the end of 2013. decisions about coverage have to be made. whether or not the federal government can successfully roll out the exchanges.
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they've received notices saying that the coverage will be discontinued because the plan does not comply with the insurance companies that have advised these companies to shot in the exchanges. but according to the exchanges that are not up and running there is much frustration over what to do in the meantime. do they just go without insurance and allow the gap in coverage? what do they tell their employees? in closing, our message isn't based on any political leaning or philosophical notion regarding health insurance. we want to urge the congress and the administration to come together to make it work for about 26 million micro businesses on the front lines of our economy. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and i look forward to answering any questions that the committee has. >> thank you very much in all of you for your testimony. it was all helpful to helping us work for trying to fix this bill for the benefit of our small businesses and individual contractors and self-employed.
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i'm going to take five minutes for questions. we will do a five-minute round alternating. i am sorry. i'm so sorry to miss you. i tell you, this cold is really knocking me out. go ahead. >> thank you very much that i'm chairwoman landrieu and ranking member senator risch and members of the committee. my name is mila coffman and i went to the strict of columbia health benefit exchange of already also known as dc health link. thank you so much for your leadership and advocacy on behalf of the nation's small businesses both for your home state and for nationwide. it is appreciated all the work that you've gone through the years for the small-business community. it is my honor to be here today. to share with you what we have
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done here in the district of colombia. we were an early leader with the affordable care act implementation. in march of 2010, the mayor signed legislation creating the dc health benefit exchange of authority. we have small business owners and experts in health insurance and health care financing. we also have four or government members to serve as nonvoting. in the district, it really did take a village to bring success to date. we had a stronger partnership with all of our government agencies. we also had a very strong partnership early on in our policy decisions. we had a polic have policy work, stakeholders that helped us make our policies and set up our
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priorities. we had strong support from mayor gray and his entire administration as well as the city council and congresswoman norton. .. needed to move forward. we also had strong relationships and collaboration with the business community here in the district. business associations who represent the small business owners here. and we also have strong support from the federal government and especially gary cohen and his entire team. on october 1, we opened for business. as you know, it was reported that we were one of four states that opened on time and did not go down. and we have not gone down. we are fully open for business and we welcome everyone, every individual who lives in the district, every small business that is in the st


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